This week was all about pumpkins!
We read books about the pumpkin life cycle and harvesting in the fall. To start the week we made a list of all the things we already know about pumpkins, and then a list of everything we want to learn.
The first thing the class said was pumpkins are usually orange! There was a choice for a color mixing activity using yellow and red paint in a bag to paint a picture of a pumpkin.
Later everyone also painted paper bags to make pretend play pumpkins.
In the spirit of the fall season that we didn’t really see, there were “leaf raking” bins with artificial colored leaves, mini rakes, and leaf bags to play on Monday as well.
When the class arrived on Tuesday they saw a real pumpkin! It looked a little like our pretend one but it was bigger, heavier, and felt cold to touch. To see how big this pumpkin was, a few friends tried to measure around the middle using chain link manipulatives. After a few different measurements this activity turned into just decorating the pumpkin with many colors and chains!
There was a choice to do a few movement songs before lunch, and this was so popular that everyone took a vote and chose to play freeze dance and movement games for our whole play time! It turned into a whole dance party with shakers and scarves.
We set up our paper bag pumpkin patch on Wednesday and played picking and buying pumpkins as well as apples too!
I introduced this week’s Second Step lesson about self-talk. Our puppet friends Sagol and Yarok told us that it’s very important to know what the teacher tells you to do and gave us an idea of how to help ourselves in our own classroom. When working through steps in directions we can quietly repeat to ourselves what we have to do over and over until it’s done. This keeps the focus on the task so everyone can get from one transition to the next!
After Tuesday when everyone played our music and movement games so nicely, I was able to hand out some new instruments before lunch on Wednesday! There are some new bells and a xylophone that each friend got a turn to try. Then following Ms. Maddie’s directions, everyone used their instrument to share their predictions for the outcomes of different fall-themed items in a “Sink or float?” experiment!
The morning choice activity on Thursday was pumpkin baths! For health and safety reasons we have not been able to do water play and the water table the same as in past years. However yesterday we had a very small group so with a lot of supervision everyone got to wash and scrub pumpkins and gourds in soapy water!
Before lunch there was extra pumpkin learning when we cut into our real pumpkin and observed the insides! Using our 5 senses we concluded that it looks “yucky,” smells “ew,” and feels “gooey!” During lunch I had some roasted pumpkin seeds for everyone to taste. Some loved the taste and asked for more and some were not a fan of eating the seeds.
Once each friend was done playing with the pumpkin goop, there were wooden pumpkin shape ornaments and coloring pages to paint!
I am excited to see everyone in their costumes on Friday for our fall party! Our class will do some silly sensory exploration in the morning and then play some fun activities in the big room.
Have a nice weekend,
Ms. Maddie and Mr. Benny